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'Creating the Spectacle!' - poolside. / 30 August 2012

 

 

How does it make you feel?

The wheelless man with the microphone nods to his cameraman and leans towards me. I hesitate.

The freedom... he prompts. And I eventually respond.

 

What I really want to do is commandeer the microphone and turn the tables. You see I already know about the freedom. Being wheelborne is my freedom.

'Creating the Spectacle,' is not to be confined to inspiring the wheelborne, it is very much aimed at changing the attitudes of the wheelless.

It is not about turning the spotlight on 'the brave and inspirational disabled', although having such a splendid role model does me no harm at all.

 

You are missing the point, I want to shout, the point is how does it make you feel?

And if your gut reaction is to descend on the wheelless because you do not see yourself or other wheelless as 'concerned parties' then you really are missing the point.

And if you do not allow yourself to change, to respond enlightened, then you are denying a great deal of what 'Creating the 'Spectacle!' is about. You are throwing away all that fantastic inspiration, dismissing all that courage and bravery, wasting all that effort and determination.

I am infuriated when you praise me for doing the easy and trivial things on my wheelborne adventure; but your failure to engage with real courage, stunning determination and this brilliantly creative artwork is more than insulting.

And the freedom? 'Creating the Spectacle!' doesn't just allow me to dream, it allows you to dream with me; to open the cage of your imagination and set me free.

 

oh! I arrive my wheels, I arrive.

I come with the heartbeat, bringing life.

Bringing life, you come with the motion.

We have the energy for laughter.

I arrive my wheels, I arrive

with a slow humiliation.

The elegance I crave, a figment

of my hot imagination

until I rest in your embrace.

until we are one. and we glide.

 

oh! I arrive my wheels, I arrive

and we are reborn in the morning.

I ease from the upright agony of fire

into your enveloping embrace.

I arrive my wheels, I arrive

with a keen anticipation

to be rescued from the primitive

to our shared configuration.

oh my wheels, I am handicapped

until we are one. And we glide.

 

 

The next pool performance is on Friday, on Portland.  www.wearefreewheeling.org.uk/freewheeling-performances

 

Keywords: con.text,creating the spectacle,paralympics,poetry,underwater wheelchair,wheelborne,wheelless